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How to prepare for CISSP in two months

It is possible to crack the CISSP certification exam in just two months, provided you dedicate yourself to it completely.

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According to Juniper Research, cybercrime costs are estimated to reach $2 trillion by the end of 2019. What does this entail for businesses?

It means that companies and organizations need to invest heavily in cybersecurity to protect themselves from nefarious cybercriminals.

With the incidence of cybercrimes increasing by the minute, there is a massive demand for trained cybersecurity professionals in companies, particularly for those who have advanced certifications like CISSP certification. As companies are readily investing in cybersecurity, the field has emerged as one of the hottest career fields right now.

Reasons why a career in cybersecurity is beneficial:

  • There are plenty of job avenues and openings emerging every day in the field of cybersecurity. Indeed maintains that the demand for cybersecurity job roles spiked between 2017 and 2018 by nearly 7% as compared to the barely noticeable growth of 0.28% in 2016-17.
  • Since the demand for cybersecurity professionals exceeds the supply, companies across the globe are ready to pay hefty compensation to trained professionals. For instance, in the US, the annual average salary of an Application Security Engineer is $128,128, and that of the Director of Information Security is $127,855.
  • With advancements in technology, hackers and cybercriminals are also getting sharper and more strategized in their approach. Only well-trained and expert cybersecurity professionals can help counter the attacks and threats of such skilled cybercriminals. Hence, rest assured, a career in cybersecurity looks very promising and secure.
cissp jobs
Image: Indeed

What is CISSP certification and how to achieve it?

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification is a premier cybersecurity certification designed for IT professionals.

It is offered by (ISC)2. The CISSP certification seeks to validate an Information Security professional’s technical and managerial knowledge and ability to design, engineer, and administer the overall security infrastructure of an organization. The CISSP exam is conducted at 882 locations across 114 countries across the world and is available in 8 languages.

To successfully crack the CISSP exam, you must:

  1. Develop a thorough understanding of the exam format

There are eight major domains under the CISSP certification:

  • Domain 1. Security and Risk Management
  • Domain 2. Asset Security
  • Domain 3. Security Architecture and Engineering
  • Domain 4. Communication and Network Security
  • Domain 5. Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  • Domain 6. Security Assessment and Testing
  • Domain 7. Security Operations
  • Domain 8. Software Development Security

The CISSP exam is conducted in the CAT (Computer Adaptive Test) format for English exams. It comprises 100-150 multiple-choice and advanced innovative questions. The exam duration is 3 hours, wherein you must score at least 700 out of 1000 to qualify.

  1. Understand the eligibility criteria for the exam

Here are the essential prerequisites for the CISSP exam:

  • You must have a minimum of five years of cumulative paid, full-time work experience in at least two of the eight domains of the CISSP CBK (Common Book of Knowledge).
  • If you are in a part-time job, you must not have less than 20 hours of work or more than 34 hours of work in a week.
  • You can substitute one year of work experience with a four-year college education degree or a regional equivalent of a CISSP credential from the (ISC)2 approved list.
  • If you cannot fulfill the requirements mentioned above, you can take the foundational level CISSP exam to become an Associate of (ISC)2. Once you become an Associate of (ISC)2, you will get six years to earn the required work experience.

After obtaining the CISSP certification, you have to recertify it every three years. For recertification, you have to earn continuing professional education (CPE) credits and pay an annual membership fee.

  1. Create a Pearson VUE account

Having a Pearson VUE account helps a great deal in preparing for the exam. It allows you to evaluate and track your gained knowledge. Plus, the Pearson VUE site contains necessary information like exam policies, locations, time, and much more.

  1. Register

For the registration process, you must sign an examination agreement. You must verify the truth of your claims about your work experience and also legally commit to the (ISC)2 code of ethics. To complete the registration process, you have to pay an exam fee.

  1. Prepare a study plan and obtain study materials

Since you must cover eight domains for the CISSP exam, you should prepare a clear study plan for the same. Once you create your study plan, make sure to stick to it. Keep at least six months for preparation before you sit for the exam. Acquire and get your study materials in order.

  1. Appear for the exam

After the preparation and hard work comes the time to take the exam. Once you successfully qualify for the CISSP exam, you must subscribe to the (ISC)2 Code of Ethics to obtain your CISSP certification.

  1. Endorse your application

The last step requires you to endorse your application within nine months from the date of the exam. The endorsement form must be completed, verified, and signed by an (ISC) 2-certified CISSP cloud security professional.

How to prepare for the CISSP exam in 2 months?

If you wish to pass the exam in two months, you know you have to do a lot and in very less time. The key is to have a solid and clear study plan.

  1. Start early

As we said before, get your hands on the study materials asap and start studying. The first thing you must study is the official exam outline. As for books, you can try these:

  • An Easy Guide To CISSP
  • CISSP For Dummies
  • CISSP Cert Guide
  • CISSP Exam Cram, 3rd edition
  • CISSP In 3 Weeks: The CISSP DIY Manual
  • The CISSP All In One Exam Guide

Apart from these, you can take up online mock tests to sharpen your knowledge and skills.

  1. Cover each domain extensively

Make sure your study plan covers all eight domains with ample time for revision as well. Create time slots for each domain and follow them religiously. While you may think you know the domains thoroughly, do revise, at least once. By the end of your preparation, you must be fluent in the CISSP language.

  1. Estimate and allot your time wisely

If you start studying sooner, you can make a rough estimate as to how much time you require to complete one domain. Then you can distribute your study time accordingly. Since this is an individual experience, you must understand your capability and allot your time accordingly.

  1. Take up a training course

While self-study is great, enrolling in a CISSP training course is even better. You get to learn from expert mentors, engage and connect with like-minded peers, and get into a competitive mindset. Moreover, you can always resolve your queries through discussions with your mentors and peers.

  1. Eat well and sleep well

During the preparation process, it is equally essential to eat well and sleep well. Otherwise, by the time you are done with the grueling process of studying, you won’t have any energy left in your body to take the exam. Also, you MUST get a good night’s sleep the night before the exam.

This should do the trick. It is possible to crack the CISSP certification exam in just two months, provided you dedicate yourself to it completely.

So, are you up for it?

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Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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